Ramblings: St. Louis’s Depth; Andre Burakovsky; Cale Makar & More

Alexander MacLean


My playoff picks took a big hit in the last round, going 0-4, which lumps me in with the Florida Panthers' playoff power play, and the Leafs in closing games of a playoff series. Good thing for me, is there is a quicker path to redemption here as I get another shot with the third round starting last night. Our group put out our third-round picks here, and they don't really need much explaining. They were in line with the nearly unanimous picks from the rest of our writers, and they have been the two best teams thus far. Their opponents may have the MVP candidates needed to pull out a couple of games, but the depth is going to win out here just like it did in the last few rounds.

I also wanted to go through why I thought the St. Louis Blues could keep up with the Avalanche last round, because I was one of the few people that gave them the time of day before that series began. I saw their forward group as an even deeper group than the Avalanche. They don't have the 100-point threats like Colorado, but they have more 70-80 point players, and their third line is better than most second lines of other playoff teams. It's for that reason that even a defensively responsible team like Minnesota had trouble with them in round one, though Colorado's speed on the back end really seemed to be the difference there that I wasn't anticipating.

It looks like their forward depth is going to be very similar to last season, as David Perron is their only notable free agent up front, and looking to return. Perron has only ever signed contracts with STL, despite playing for five different NHL teams, so there's no reason to think that would change now.  

Here are the line combinations that the Blues ran with most this season. Keeping David Perron on an excellent two-way line that saw the toughest competition and the most defensive minutes on the team, while still keeping a positive Corsi rating, will be huge for the continued production of lines two and three.